Signature Lectures

UGA Signature Lectures feature speakers noted for their broad, multidisciplinary appeal and compelling bodies of work. Many of the lectures are supported by endowments, while others honor notable figures and milestones in the university’s history.

Upcoming Signature Lectures are listed below, and additions to the lecture series will be posted when available. Requests for accommodations for those with disabilities should be made as soon as possible but at least 7 days prior to the scheduled lecture.  Please contact Katie Fite in the Office of Academic Programs at 706-542-0383 or at kcfite@uga.edu to request accommodations.

For parking information, please see http://www.parking.uga.edu/maps/Visitor.pdf.

2015–2016 Academic Year

  • Bob Inglis

    Executive Director of the Energy and Enterprise Initiative

    George Mason University

    “The Climate Conscience of a Conservative”

    A University Lecture

    Sept. 15, 3:30 p.m., Chapel


    Inglis is a former South Carolina congressman and co-founder of the Energy and Enterprise Initiative, which promotes free-enterprise solutions to climate challenges.

    Sponsored by the Division of Biological Sciences, College of Engineering, College of Public Health, Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, Georgia Initiative for Climate and Society, Odum School of Ecology and the School of Public and International Affairs

  • Jack Rakove

    William Robertson Coe Professor of History and American Studies and professor of political science and law

    Stanford University

    “What did the Constitution Originally Mean?: Two Interpretations”

    Constitution Day at UGA

    Sept. 17, 2 p.m., Chapel


    Rakove is author and editor of several books related to the founding of America, including “Original Meanings: Politics and Ideas in the Making of the Constitution.”

    Sponsored by the School of Public and International Affairs and the Law School

  • Daniel P. Amos and A.D. "Pete" Correll

    Chairman and CEO, Aflac Chairman Emeritus, Georgia-Pacific

    The Mason Public Leadership Lecture

    Sept. 18, 10 a.m., Richard B. Russell Building Special Collections Libraries Auditorium


    Amos, who earned his Bachelor of Business Administration degree from UGA in 1973, has served as CEO of Aflac since 1990 and chairman since 2001. Correll, who earned his Bachelor of Business Administration degree from UGA in 1963, retired as CEO of Georgia-Pacific and has dedicated his life to public service.

    Sponsored by the Terry College of Business and supported by a contribution from Terry alumnus and lawyer Keith Mason

  • Georges C. Benjamin

    Executive Director

    American Public Health Association

    “Becoming the Healthiest Nation: A Public Health Approach”

    College of Public Health 10th Anniversary Lecture

    Sept. 24, 5 p.m., George Hall, Health Sciences Campus


    Benjamin is one of the nation’s most influential physician leaders and leads the American Public Health Association’s push to make America the healthiest nation in one generation.

    Sponsored by the College of Public Health on the occasion of its 10th anniversary

  • Alice Walker

    Pulitzer Prize-winning author

    “Standing in Georgia, Writing to the World”

    Delta Visiting Chair for Global Understanding Lecture

    Oct. 14, 3:30 pm, UGA Chapel


    A native of Eatonton, Walker is the author of seven novels, including “The Color Purple,” for which she became the first African-American woman to win the Pulitzer Prize.
    Sponsored by the Willson Center for Humanities and Arts in partnership with the Institute for African American Studies

  • Deborah Lipstadt

    Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish History and Holocaust Studies

    Emory University

    “The Holocaust: An American Understanding 1945-2015”

    A University Lecture

    Oct. 22, 3:30 p.m., Chapel


    Lipstadt was appointed by Presidents Clinton and Obama to successive terms on the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council. A BBC film adaptation of her 2006 book, “History on Trial: My Day in Court with a Holocaust Denier,” is currently in development.
    Sponsored by the Office of the President and Office of the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost

  • Taylor Branch and Janisse Ray

    Award-winning writers

    “Reflections on a Writer's Life”

    Georgia Writers Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

    Nov. 9, 10:30 a.m., Russell Special Collections Building Auditorium


    Branch is an American author and historian best known for his award-winning trilogy “America in the King Years.” Ray is an environmental activist and poet known for “Ecology of a Cracker Childhood.” Writers Vereen Bell and Paul Hemphill will be honored posthumously at the induction ceremony.
    Sponsored by the University of Georgia Libraries

  • Ken Kendrick

    Managing general partner

    Arizona Diamondbacks

    Terry Leadership Speaker Series

    Friday, Jan. 22, 10:10 a.m., Chapel


    As managing general partner for the Arizona Diamondbacks, Kendrick's team has twice captured the National League West Division and eliminated more than $200 million of debt. He is also a principal in the development of CityScape, Arizona's largest commercial/retail real estate development.
    Sponsored by the Terry College of Business

  • Thomas C. Reeves

    Professor emeritus

    University of Georgia

    "So You Think You're Smarter than a Robot: The Race between Human Learning and Deep Learning"

    Founders Day Lecture

    Wednesday, January 27, 1:30 p.m., Chapel


    Reeves is professor emeritus of learning, design and technology in the College of Education. During his career, he has developed and evaluated numerous interactive learning programs for education and training and has been an invited speaker in 30 countries. Reeves co-founded the Learning and Performance Support Lab.
    Sponsored by the UGA Alumni Association

  • David B. Wilkins

    Vice Dean for Global Initiatives on the Legal Profession, Director of the Center on the Legal Profession and Lester Kissel Professor of Law

    Harvard University

    “The Accountants are Coming — Again!: The Rise and Transformation of the Big 4 Accountancy Firms and What it Means for the Global Market for Legal Services”

    John A. Sibley Lecture

    Thursday, Jan. 28, 3:30 p.m., Hatton Lovejoy Courtroom, Hirsch Hall


    Wilkins is a widely published author and speaker whose research focuses on the legal profession and globalization. He has directed more than 50 researchers studying the impact of globalization on the market for legal services in rapidly developing countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America and Eastern Europe.
    Sponsored by the School of Law and the Charles Loridans Foundation

  • Sanford Bishop

    U.S. Congressman

    Georgia's Second District

    Holmes-Hunter Lecture

    Thursday Feb. 18, 2 p.m., Chapel


    Bishop is serving his 12th term in the U.S. House of representative representing the 2nd Congressional District, which encompasses middle and southwest Georgia. He previously served in the Georgia House of Representatives and the Georgia Senate.
    Sponsored by the Office of the President

  • William R. Ferris

    Joel R. Williamson Eminent Professor of History

    University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

    "The Storied South: Voices of Writers and Artists

    Global Georgia Initiative Series

    Thursday, February 18, 4 p.m., M. Smith Griffith Auditorium, Georgia Museum of Art


    Ferris is the senior associate director of UNC’s Center for the Study of the American South. He was the founding director of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi and is former chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities. He has written or edited 10 books and created 15 documentary films.
    Sponsored by the Willson Center for Humanities and Arts and the Georgia Museum of Art

  • Tomiko Brown-Nagin

    Daniel P.S. Paul Professor of Constitutional Law and professor of history

    Harvard University

    “'The Civil Rights Queen:’ Constance Baker Motley and the Struggle for Racial and Gender Equality in America”

    Donald L. Hollowell Lecture

    Thursday, March 17, 7 p.m., Fine Arts Theatre


    Brown-Nagin’s 2011 book, Courage to Dissent: Atlanta and the Long History of the Civil Rights Movement, won the Bancroft Prize in American History, making her the first woman of color to win the honor. 
    Sponsored by the Center for Social Justice, Human and Civil Rights; the School of Social Work; and The Foot Soldier Project for Civil Rights Studies

  • Richard J. Roberts

    Chief Scientific Officer

    New England BioLabs

    "Exploring Bacterial Methylomes"

    George H. Boyd Distinguished Lecture

    Tuesday, March 22, 3:30 pm, Masters Hall, Georgia Center


    Roberts, an English biochemist and molecular biologist who co-discovered introns in eukaryotic DNA and the mechanism for gene-splicing, was awarded the 1993 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine and was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II.
    Sponsored by the Office of the Vice President for Research

  • Earl Lewis

    President

    Andrew Mellon Foundation

    Louise McBee Lecture

    Thursday, March 24, 11 a.m., Chapel


    Lewis, a noted social historian, was a former provost and executive vice president for academic affairs and Asa Griggs Candler Professor of History and African American Studies at Emory University. He is the author and co-editor of seven books.
    Sponsored by the Institute of Higher Education

  • Johnnetta B. Cole

    Director

    National Museum of African Art

    “The Case for Diversity and Inclusion in American Higher Education”

    Mary Frances Early Lecture

    Tuesday, March 29, 3 p.m., Mahler Hall, Georgia Center


    Cole, president emerita of Spelman College and Bennett College for Women, currently serves on the Scholarly Advisory Board of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.
    Sponsored by the Graduate School; Graduate and Professional Scholars; and the Office of Institutional Diversity

  • Leah Ward Series

    Former Chief Justice

    Georgia Supreme Court

    Women's History Month Lecture

    Thursday, March 31, 6:30 p.m., Richard B. Russell Building Special Collections Libraries Auditorium


    Sears became the first African-American chief justice in the nation when she was appointed Georgia Supreme Court chief justice in 2005. She was the first woman and the youngest person to sit on the bench when she was appointed justice in 1992.
    Sponsored by the Institute for Women’s Studies

  • Tess Davis

    Affiliate researcher

    University of Glasgow

    “Tomb Raiders and Terrorist Financing: Cutting off the Islamic State’s Illicit Traffic in ‘Blood Antiquities’”

    Sponsored Lecture

    Wednesday, April 20, 4:30 p.m., M. Smith Griffith Auditorium, Georgia Museum of Art


    Davis, a lawyer who has dedicated the last decade to combatting the illicit antiquities trade, served as executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Cultural Heritage Preservation before joining the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research at the University of Glasgow.
    Sponsored by the Willson Center; Departments of Anthropology, Political Science and Sociology; Office of the Vice President for Instruction; and the Dean Rusk International Law Center.

  • David Baulcombe

    Royal Society Research Professor and Regius Professor of Botany

    University of Cambridge

    Joe L. Key Symposium

    Thursday, May 12, 8:30 a.m., M. Smith Griffith Auditorium, Georgia Museum of Art


    Baulcombe is a world-renowned plant geneticist who made a key discovery in gene silencing. The former UGA postdoctoral fellow has received numerous awards, including election to the Royal Society and knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II.
    Sponsored by the UGA Plant Center in commemoration of its 30th anniversary